One of the UK’s leading refugee charities is urging the government to respond to the increase in asylum applications in 2015, by improving the UK’s asylum system so that it can more effectively meet the demands of the continuing refugee crisis.
Refugee Action points out that while the figures demonstrate an increase of 29 per cent on the previous year, the number of asylum applications in the UK remains low when compared to neighbouring countries and must be seen within the context of the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
In terms of asylum applications per head of the population, the UK remains in the bottom half; ranking 17th out of 28 EU countries. Sweden has more than four times the number of asylum applications, while Germany has recorded more than ten times the number of applications for 2015.
The charity says the growth is to be expected given the refugee crisis which has gripped Europe since last summer and argues that Britain is well-equipped to protect more of the world’s most vulnerable people.
In response, Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action said:
“At Refugee Action, we believe the UK government can and must help asylum seekers coming independently to the UK. Whatever your view on whether or not Britain should remain in the EU, one thing is clear we need a better system that ensures anyone seeking safety in the UK receives a quick and fair hearing and is supported to live in dignity.
“This increase should be seen within context; Europe is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. We welcomed the government’s decision to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of this parliament. But we also need to ensure that adequate protection is given to asylum seekers who are forced to make their own journeys to safety.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Refugee Action media office.